From The Straits Times    |

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Planning to catch cherry blossoms in Japan in 2024? On Jan 10, Japan released its first forecast of the dates when they will start flowering and blooming this year. The earliest flowering is expected to be in the city of Kochi on Shikoku island on March 18. The flowers are forecast to be in full bloom eight days later, according to the Japan Meteorological Corporation (JMC).

The cities of Fukuoka and Nagoya are next, where flowering is expected to take place on March 21. Full bloom is forecast on March 30 for Fukuoka and March 31 for Nagoya.

In the Japanese capital Tokyo, the cherry blossoms are expected to flower on March 23, with full bloom seven days later. A similar forecast has been issued for Kyoto.

In Osaka, the expected flowering and full bloom dates are March 25 and April 1 respectively.

Further north, the flowering date for Sapporo on the island of Hokkaido is slated to be May 2, with full bloom four days later.

JMC said it will provide further timely updates, with the next one due on Jan 25.

Japan’s peak season for cherry blossoms is usually from late March until early April. In the colder parts of the country, especially in the north, the season occurs later.

The country’s cherry blossoms reach peak bloom about a week after they start opening.

The JMC’s forecasts are based on the popular Yoshino cherry trees in about 1,000 cherry blossom viewing locations across the country.

Factors that determine these dates include temperature patterns from autumn of the preceding year, JMC said.

When and where to watch cherry blossoms in Japan in 2024

This article was originally published in The Straits Times.